In the design of the curriculum and clinical experiences, it is the goal of the Physician Assistant Institute:
- To develop self-motivated and high-quality graduates committed to self-discovery and self-assessment through the application and evaluation of clinical practice obtained through critical evaluation of the medical literature.
Each member of the Class of 2014 graduated and 97% completed their Clinical Research Projects on time. This project required them to be self-motivated, produce a Clinical Review Paper through an evaluation of the current literature of sufficient quality and quantity, and essentially become an expert in a topic. Topics presented at both State and National Conferences included Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Post-War Veterans; Management of Concussion in Sport Injuries; and Management of Oral Health Concerns in Diabetics. Nine students from the Class of 2015 have received Recognition for Clinical Review Project.
- To develop highly competent Physician Assistants evidenced by the ability to transfer knowledge from the classroom and clerkship experience to graduate clinical performance through:
- Successfully passing the National Certifying examination
The Class of 2014 has a 97% pass rate on the PANCE examination. All students of the Physician Assistant Institute are required to maintain a 3.0 to graduate. Sixteen students in the graduating Class of 2014 graduated Summa Cum Laude and have been nominated to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and 5 students were nominated to Pi Alpha the Physician Assistant National Honor Society. The average GPA of the Class of 2014 is 3.81 at completion.
- Acquisition and application of the basic and clinical sciences
100% of the Class of 2014 competed the Didactic Phase of the program on time and moved on to Clinical Clerkship, and 94% completed their Supervised Clinical Phase of their education without delay. 2 students decelerated and completed their requirements 6 weeks beyond the expected graduation date. The Class of 2014 did well during the clinical phase of the program. 82% of students (of a class of 34) scored in the outstanding range in the ability to document clinical procedures relating to patients and colleagues, reliability, dependability, and professionalism. Preceptor Assessment for areas such as physical examination, assessment, and patient management showed that 84% of the students scored in the outstanding range.
- Understanding the diversity amongst patients, ideas, perceptions of care, and culture while respecting the values associated with their ethnicity, sexual orientation, and background.
Students of the program essentially give back to our community through volunteer activities with organizations such as Americares, KEEP, and the National Kidney Foundation, and have established a relationship with the Mercy Learning Center to create a Health Literacy program and student-run clinic.
- Developing an appreciation for patient preferences and the diversity of the treatments and healers they seek.
Students of the program participate in an Integrative Medicine Course where they are educated about the various Healthcare providers that patients seek. Our goal is to educate the student so they will better appreciate the importance of supporting the patient in their choices. As part of their experience, students choose an encounter with a practitioner, be it Acupuncture, Naturopath, or Chiropractor, to dispel the misunderstandings and misrepresentations that often surround the non-allopathic care provider. Students have found value in understanding what other providers offer patients in their care.
- The ability to implement effective communication skills to colleagues, patients, and families they encounter to improve patient care and outcome.
Preceptor Assessments in the area of the written record revealed 85% and 87% of the Class of 2014 and 2015 respectively considered to be outstanding by the preceptors. Preceptors were asked how our students related to patients and colleagues, and 90% of both the Class of 2014 and 2015 were rated outstanding in that category. 85% of the Class of 2014 and 87% of the Class of 2015 were rated in the outstanding range for the ability to provide patient education.
- To develop a solid professional value system, committed to life-long learning, professional development and advocacy for the profession.
Preceptor Assessment again rated 85% of the students of the Class of 2014 and 90% of the Class of 2015 in the outstanding range in the Knowledge of the role of the Physician Assistant.
It is the intention of the University of Bridgeport, the faculty of Health Sciences, and the Physician Assistant Institute to endeavor to communicate these goals through our teaching, role modeling, and clinical practice.